Tools like soldering irons and hot glue guns are essential to making stuff, but both have the disadvantage of taking a while to heat up. This means that shutting them off after every use in a project isn’t practical, but also means there’s a possibility that you’ll leave them on. If you forget to turn one off when you leave, perhaps there wouldn’t be an issue, but there’s always a possibility it could cause a fire.
For this purpose, Kevin Darrah shows how to hack a timer-based surge protector into something that will automatically shut off your devices when not used for 30 minutes. The new controls are based on his Arduino-compatible 328board, and feature a box with simple green and red buttons for on and off. It’s a neat result, providing a backup to his forgetfulness.
His video offers a great intro into breaking down a gadget’s function in order to modify it. As noted, since he was working with AC power, he was very cautious with this hack, and did everything while disconnected.
The “Forgetful Hacker” Bench Power Supply Timer Project was originally published in Hackster’s Blog on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.